Hello, Spring! Happy Birthday, ABQCWC!

Spring is here! Trees are budding. Day lilies are opening petals to a warmer sun. The winds began making their appearance before the snows relented. And here at ABQCWC, we’re emerging from a much-needed spring break, anxious to return to the work we love.

Part of that work is outreach, and for a number of weeks we’ve been devoting a lot of our energy to developing a new partnership with Casa de las Comunidades, where we’ve been coaching students of all ages on writing and writing-related activities. Rather than establishing ourselves as a traditional after-school tutoring program, we’ve striven to develop fun exercises that place students in the creative driver’s seat, encouraging them to take charge of their own learning by actively participating in the coaching process through peer interaction. Still a very young partnership, we’re excited to see where we might take this program in the summer, and we’ll be looking for motivated volunteers to assist us in program development and implementation come May.

Meanwhile, we’ve been strategizing ways to increase our visibility at the Main Library and elsewhere in Albuquerque. We want folks to know that our writing coaches love working with writers on novels, poems, and memoirs, but we also know that everyone writes every day for a number of practical, professional, and civic purposes, such as finding a job, securing a promotion, writing a congressman or starting a petition. We want folks to know that ABQCWC was created to serve all writers, even those who don’t think of themselves as writers at all.

To that end, we’re looking forward to hosting some very practical workshops on resume and application letter writing this summer. In the meantime, we’ll be holding down the fort every Saturday from 12-2pm at Main. Come on in and see us. We’re friendly. We’re free. We’re here for the sole purpose of serving you.

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since ABQCWC launched its March pilot project and began providing writing coaching to the public. Since then we’ve held over a hundred sessions with over fifty different clients, and we’re learning as much from serving them as we hope they’re gaining from our services.

Developing a grassroots, all-volunteer organization like ABQCWC is far from easy, and as with writing, there’s always room for improvement. I’m reminded of a great quote by Ira Glass on the struggles of beginning writers, and the payoffs of perseverance:

Glass’ description of the gap between what one wants and is able to write is uncanny, but it’s also slightly inaccurate. The truth is, the gap never goes away. It morphs, shrinks. Sometimes, like a kind of revelation, the gap suddenly vanishes, only to reappear larger than ever and where we never expected. And in the end, that’s what keeps us going. For the committed writer, lifelong learner, and community servant, the gap between what one wants to achieve and become and what one is immediately capable of never goes away. Thankfully.

At ABQCWC, we look forward to the unending challenge of better serving our clients and community, and we hope you’ll join us on that journey. Bring your own gap, or borrow ours. Spring is here: let’s do some growing together.